30 Dec
2011

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

*Jessi's Pick*

Fans of the wacky, zany, and downright irreverent will love Adams' Hitchhiker’s Guide. The book centers around Arthur Dent, a man whose serene little world is destroyed (literally) and he finds himself to be almost the last man in the Universe… and all within the first 30 pages! I learned many valuable lessons from this book, like the importance of always carrying a towel, why you should never ask a Vogon to read you poetry, and that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the Universe and everything is 42. The 25th ed. Also includes photos, artwork and recollections of Adams’ friends. If you like this one, definitely follow up with The Ultimate Guide… Got your towel!?

30 Dec
2011

Post Secret by Frank Warren

*Blair's Pick*

This book slapped me across the face, punched me in the stomach, gave me ice cream and then tickled me. The most potent emotion this book evoked , however, was relief. This collection of postcards riddled with anonymous secrets lets you know that you are not alone in the world; these confessions wrap their creepy arms around you and say, “you’re one of us.” Both heartbreaking and funny, this is a must read.

30 Dec
2011

Mountain Man Dance Moves / Mcsweeny’s ed.

*Blair's Pick*

By far no other book has made me laugh this hard. It is the essence of a cynical yet hopeful generation of intellectuals who give new meaning to lists, although I’m not sure what the old meaning was, but the new meaning is much funnier. This book will make you popular at social gatherings by reading aloud, or more impressively, reciting from memory, one of the many adorably funny lists in this book such as “Ways in which I have personally taken it upon myself to mess with Texas.”

30 Dec
2011

The Giver by Lois Lowry

*Marlie's Pick*

The Giver is a remarkable and memorable sci-fi story about a boy named Jonas. Jonas lives in a seemingly utopian society, there is no poverty, no sickness, no war, no bad memories and everyone is equal and alike. (Very reminiscent of 1984 and Brave New World). ‘The elders’ choose Jonas for a very important task within the community -- he will study under the oldest man in the village and become the keeper of all memories. As he accumulates more memories, he longs to feel real emotion, to be stimulated and inspired, and to be different than everyone else. The Giver is a beautiful, touching and compassionate tale of finding one’s self both emotionally and spiritually. It’s about fitting in while still finding a way to stand out. (…Junior High anyone!?) I read this book years ago as a school assignment and have found myself rereading it almost every year since. (…and yes, I still cry every time).

30 Dec
2011

203 Ways to Drive a Man Wild in Bed by Olivia St. Claire

*Jessi's Pick*

Okay, I know what you’re going to say…”a sex book? Are you kidding me?” Sex is a constant in our lives, so why not have fun with it? This book offers some great tips for the open minded. You can read it straight thru cover to cover or just dip into it every now and then. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, this book has something for everyone.

30 Dec
2011

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

*Kristen's Pick!*

Why don’t people read this book anymore? Natalie Babbit’s books were hot commodities when I was a girl, with Tuck Everlasting topping the list (I would also recommend The Search for Delicious, and The Devil’s Storybook, although I think it’s out of print). This book has so much to say about different kinds of love, and why what you want isn’t always the best choice. Along with Bridge to Terabithia, this book taught me empathy and that it’s ok to feel sad sometimes.

30 Dec
2011

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

*Blair's Pick*

This book, for better or worse, is responsible for my entire college career. This is one of those books that I read when I was young and revisited it when I was older and has become one of the five books, along with my cat, that I would rescue from a fire. My love of language began here and is still with me. It is with young Milo that I learned how wonderful and strange language can be, which led me to pursue poetry, philosophy and linguistics in college. In Dictionopolis I learned that letters taste different. I learned that Conclusions is an island that can only be reached by jumping. I learned that war is what happens when rhyme and reason are nowhere to be found. I learned that meaning in language is never exhausted, but always open to new and imaginative possibilities.

30 Dec
2011

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

*Andy & Blair's Pick*

I can’t even begin to say how awesome this book is. Eggers plays with the reader from the start by sneaking into the copyright page and adding funny snippets to it-a very post modern move-to always remind the reader not to take the thing in their hand for granted. Eggers broke new ground with this book; it hovers in free space between several poles- truth and fiction, youth and adulthood, popular and underground cultures; they all flow through this story of Eggers’ move to California with his younger brother following the deaths of their parents-31 days apart from each other. Moments like this are the heartbreaking side of this book, and the staggering genius comes in when he describes such heartbreak with his unique postmodern mix of humor and irony.  He was a candidate for the first MTV Real World, and the transcript of the interview is included. I mean c’mon. That’s pretty neato.:)